4 ways you’re practicing mindfulness daily without even realizing it, according to psychology

Now that people are more aware of how they can use mindfulness as a way to navigate stressful situations, reduce anxiety, and cope with a fast-paced world, there are thousands of articles out there teaching you how to slow down and be present.

However, some of us may already be doing these without realizing it.

It could be a self-taught way to cope with everything around you, or you noticed someone else doing it.

Regardless, it has helped you to slow down and be aware of everything around you and within you.

Today we’ll explore 4 ways you’re practicing mindfulness daily without even realizing it, according to psychology.

1) Taking deep breaths

When you’re in highly stressful situations, do you find yourself having to take deep breaths? 

Did you know that this is actually a mindfulness practice? Most of us do this when we’re trying to calm ourselves down when we’re nervous, but there’s actually a scientific explanation for this.

Research states that our breath acts like a remote control for our brains, directing the signals that it produces to stimulate our memories and emotional processing centers.

This means that the breath is central to regulating our emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It prepares us mentally with the appropriate postures to navigate whatever is ahead of us.

In addition to taking deep breaths when you’re in a negative situation, do you also practice this throughout the day?

Perhaps you do a session of yoga at the start of the day to energize your body. In yoga, the breath is essential to a beneficial practice.

Or perhaps you make sure to ease your mind into sleep at the end of the day. Without the distraction of technology, you make sure to wind down with a short meditation session – which is also heavily dependent on breath control

If you find these familiar, you’re actually practicing mindfulness daily without even realizing it.

To further incorporate mindfulness, you could try longer meditation sessions, be more aware of your breathing in different situations and how best to use this to your advantage, or simply wake up with a few nourishing breaths while setting your intentions for the day.

Which leads me to the next point.

2) Setting our intentions for the day

When you wake up, do you make the effort to pen down a list of goals or tasks you’d like to achieve for the day?

This is in addition to the bigger goals or milestones you’ve set for yourself in the medium to longer term.

If so, you’re actually incorporating a very important mindfulness practice in your life, and you may not even realize it.

According to psychology, setting intentions enables us to strengthen the connection between the lower and higher centers of ourselves. 

It can greatly impact our day, by transforming how we speak, behave, and respond to the people or navigate situations around us – especially in challenging situations. It may spur us to be more compassionate and kind, instead of the reflex response of being rude and snapping at others.

Starting our day with this habit primes us with better and more helpful attitudes toward facing the day. 

If you’re already doing this but struggle to keep it going throughout the day, try penning down this intention in areas where you’ll pass by often – like the bathroom or kitchen. If you’re spending the day out, why not stick a post-it in your notebook or save your intention on your phone?

Throughout the day, remind yourself about your intention by pausing and taking a breath to be aware of your current mental state. Then, guide yourself back to the intention you’ve set for yourself before you continue with the rest of the day. 

With practice, this will become very natural to you. 

3) Eating slowly

I have a very bad habit of eating too quickly. To me, mealtimes are just fuel sessions for my body before I spring into action for the next part of my day, if I’m eating by myself. 

Or, I’ll eat while watching a Youtube video, or scrolling through Tiktok just to keep my brain active while I’m shoveling food down my mouth.

Perhaps you have a healthier way of eating and you may not even notice it. Instead of eating fast, you slow down when you eat, chew, and take the time to appreciate the things around you.

You may use this time to slow down your pace as it’s one of the ways you can better connect with yourself amid the noise.

If so, then you may once again be incorporating mindfulness without even realizing it. 

You may not know this, but eating mindfully elevates the simple act of fuelling ourselves into a far richer experience, where it satisfies not only our nutritional needs but our subtler senses and needs. It forces us to pay full attention to our bodies and what we’re really hungry for.

It also helps us take better care of our digestive systems, where we honor our hunger, avoid overeating and listen to how our body takes in food. 

4) Journalling

Do you keep a journal by your bedside to jot down your thoughts at the start of the day or before you go to bed?

You do this to keep track of your thought processes throughout the day or simply to verbalize or pen down what you’re feeling at that present moment.

By doing so, you’re incorporating mindfulness by being aware of how you feel. Most of us go about our days with not much recollection of how we felt or how we responded to certain situations.

But keeping track of this can help us respond better to situations as we become more aware of our feelings and emotions.

Sometimes we could even do this on the go. We can record our feelings on our Notes app by typing in a few sentences. This could help take our mindfulness practice a step further.

Instead of addressing prompts, why not allow yourself to fill up a few pages with stream-of-consciousness writing as well? 

This helps to take out the routine of journaling and prevents us from regarding this habit as a way to tick off the mindfulness box by addressing set prompts – which can be very helpful if we’re just starting to journal. 

Practicing mindfulness

If you can relate to the above practices, you may have been incorporating mindfulness into your daily habits without realizing it.

Most people do not have such habits, so it’s great that you’re already making headway in this area. 

You could consider taking your practice one step further by going deeper – extending the time taken in your meditation sessions, journaling more regularly, and being more present in day-to-day interactions like walking, commuting, and talking to people. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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